Save. Spend. Splurge.

A Week of Money: Losing my Toddler-Free Time & my Sanity


??:?? — Wake up #1

??:?? — Wake up #2

??:?? — Wake up #3

6:19 a.m. — He “slept in”, but he woke up 3 times last night screaming for me. I started patting his bum half-groggily to get him back to sleep and he screamed even more thinking it was his father and not me, saying “MOMMY PATCH BUM” (Patch = Pat). I had to convince him it was my hand doing the patting. I am not going to sleep for the next 5 years, guaranteed. And I am now convinced I am definitely not having a second child to reset this hell I am in.

6:26 a.m. — I really look forward to relaxing and drinking my two allocated cups of tea in the morning. There is nothing better than a nice hot cup of tea and I can only have 2 a day because the caffeine otherwise is way too much for my body to handle. Only on special occasions do I allow myself a Starbucks Chai Latte but only before 1 p.m. at the latest.

7:01 a.m. — Today is Grocery Shopping day. Luckily, I remembered the list this time, so he’s coming back with stuff for the Vegan burger this week. Then I remember that I forgot to ask for the stuff for an Apple Crisp Smoothie. Gah.

7:11 a.m. —My partner finally gets up (he is seriously exhausted from working all day and falls asleep on his yoga mat). Before he dozes off, I casually ask if he plans on working on the apartment today. He wrinkles his nose and says he has to finish it this weekend and I mentally resign myself to not having any Mommy Time off this weekend.

7:12 a.m. — I plan out my day with Baby Bun which kind of looks like this:

  • Take Baby Bun to the park
  • Eat lunch
  • Go downtown and spend the day there (all snacks under $10 this time)
  • Come back late afternoon
  • Go to the park again
  • Come home

7:45 a.m. — I decide to implement a routine of applying lotion daily all over my body because my eczema is flaring up again. As I dip into the GlaxalBase cream I and Baby Bun use (best one I have found for moisturizing deeply thus far but it smells really medicinal unfortunately), I notice the pot is about 2 weeks away from disappearing. I make a note to buy another bucket today, the biggest one I can find.

8:17 a.m.— It takes me almost half an hour to rub in continuous amounts of cream, my skin is seriously parched and soaks it up like a sponge. I’m horrified at my skin neglect. Self-care is a low priority with a toddler… I also file my feet with this electric foot filer. I’m so pleased I don’t need to manually scrub my feet any more.

8:19 a.m. — Baby Bun pesters me to go to the park. I tell him if he doesn’t behave, no park. He SEEMS to get it but then just starts annoying the both of us again. I can see I really need to get him out so that Daddy doesn’t lose it. I’m about to lose it myself, he has been annoying us all morning with whining and squealing. Nothing makes you snap like a Toddler Whine.

8:20 a.m. — I decide to scrub the toilets and wash everything clean in the bathroom today.

9:15 a.m. — The entire bathroom is finally clean. I go to do the other one and can’t find the toilet brush for that one. Out of sheer laziness I decide to leave it for after my partner is done fixing it today. I vacuum the entire apartment instead. Can’t keep this place clean.

9:41 a.m. — I and Baby Bun bundle up to play at the park today. I bring along my headphones and pray no one shows up and tries to make conversation with me. It’s nice to just listen to music and watch him play. I also like to sing my instructions to him to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle which makes him listen but also hassle me for “Moah singing?

10:02 a.m. — While at the park, I wipe down my boots with these Boot Wipes (they have them for Sandals too but I don’t see the difference) and vigorously clean my iPod Touch with a baby wipe. I have to remember to do this more often because I carry it around with me and it must be LADEN with bacteria from setting it down on surfaces, or not constantly washing my hands before touching it. I put a reminder in my ToDo app to clean it every week.

10:47 a.m. — I see my partner’s car drive by and it’s another 10 minute walk home, so I get Baby Bun to slide one more time and lure him home peacefully without a tantrum with the promise of a delicious lunch. This kid is so easy to bribe. 😛

11:10 a.m.— Lunch.

11:30 a.m. — I check my emails and the weather quickly to know generally how to dress (extra layers? boots?). It is going to be WARM today with rain after 4 p.m. so I make a definite note to leave by 4 p.m. at the latest and spend the time in the park while watching the skies. It also means I may just wear my lovely Burberry trench coat today with a scarf & tank top as it’ll be so warm I don’t want to roast.

11:37 a.m. — I get Baby Bun re-bundled up and pack to go downtown. For fun, I decide to wear makeup. Just sunscreen, some light concealer and eyeliner. Nothing on the lips because I will definitely forget and smother my toddler in pink lip stains which he will throw a squealing fit about if I try to clean his face afterwards.

11:38 a.m. — I look at my bags from yesterday and realized I carried too much the other day and didn’t need my purse. I try to go super light with a toddler when I am out the whole day without a car so I bring:

  • Water bottle – Refilled each time we go out so I don’t have to pay $5 for water *eye roll*…. I’d love a sleek S’Well water bottle but cannot buy anything frivolous right now
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Underwear & Change of Clothes & Bummis Wet Bag
  • Wet wipes – I am curious about these Water Wipes
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Sunscreen – Plan on test-driving the new sunscreen I bought last week to see if it makes me break out, turn purple (from the white) or otherwise stink
  • His blanket for sleeping / covering the stroller
  • Stroller
  • Spare shopping bag

All of this fits in the bottom of the MacLaren Triumph Stroller (all the parents I know inevitably buy a stroller that is super light like this one because they realize lugging a heavy one is not worth the hassle). It’s still cool, so I wear a jacket but otherwise I’d wear a skirt with pockets.

11:39 a.m. — I make a note to reschedule my appointment to a Friday ASAP because I found out yesterday that my partner can’t take any other day off from work to watch Baby Bun.

11:55 a.m. — I decide I will go to go have a snack downtown with Baby Bun but keep it under $10… so no soup dumplings.

12:00 p.m. — My partner doesn’t want Baby Bun getting into the habit of napping in the stroller, so he asks that he stays at home to nap. I go to lie down and wait for him to wake up from his nap, watching videos while deleting and organizing my files.

1:15 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up like a rocket, asks for his milk and then jumps around like a kangaroo squealing: BUS? BUS? BUS? BUS?

1:37 p.m. — I scrap the stroller and decide to brave going with a toddler and a small purse. My new packables are:

  • Water bottle – Refilled each time we go out so I don’t have to pay $5 for water *eye roll*…. I’d love a sleek S’Well water bottle but cannot buy anything frivolous right now
  • Headphones
  • Wallet
  • Underwear & Change of Clothes & Bummis Wet Bag
  • Wet wipes – I am curious about these Water Wipes
  • Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Handkerchiefs
  • Sunscreen – Plan on test-driving the new sunscreen I bought last week to see if it makes me break out, turn purple (from the white) or otherwise stink

We get on the metro. $2.25

2:00 p.m. — In hindsight, I shouldn’t have brought the headphones as they were too bulky and wired ones get tangled up, but we actually had a very pleasant time after his nap. He was very quiet staring at everything and only got upset when we were in the city, saying: NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! .. (meaning: it’s too noisy and I don’t like it). The motorcycles riding by making lots of vroom vroom sounds really fascinated him along with a rotating fan that was blowing out strips of paper from it. 🙂

2:02 p.m. — We go for a snack downtown and I spend $5 on some secret Mommy cakes for tomorrow (nothing is open), and $4 on two pork & vegetable buns which Baby Bun gobbles down saying: “YUMMY…. BUN!!!“. $9

2:15 p.m. — We spy a street performer playing on an ocarina (!!) and I give Baby Bun a quarter which he slam dunks into the red bucket in front of the boy. $0.25

3:07 p.m. — I decide to take him on the train and ride up and down the line and he gets even more excited saying: “TRAIN! CHOO CHOOOOO!! TRAIN!!!” If we had a streetcar like in Toronto I’d be on that thing on the daily with Baby Bun. My mother used to take all the grandchildren up and down the streetcar for hours and I decide that’s what we’ll do if/when we go back home to Toronto.

3:55 p.m. — We are on the last leg of our little train ride and I realize I am way over my 2 hour limit for metro transfers for the last leg home, and decide to take him to the thrift shop before going home to see if I can find more Opposite game cards to make letters with. It’s a long shot to find another game like that that will match but I try anyway.

4:02 p.m. — We get off the train and Baby Bun asks for the washroom. I hustle him into a Thai Express and then buy a small piece of cake (it’s only proper etiquette if I am using their bathroom). $1.50

4:15 p.m. — After wandering around the thrift shop (gat damn it is HOT IN THERE), we go and wait for the bus to go home, and eat the cake standing in front of the stop which he of course asks: “MOAAAH? MOAAAH CAKE?” after we’re done. To distract him, I sing songs and keep him entertained while we wait. We get on the bus and ride home on a cloud of sugary happiness. $2.25

4:25 p.m. — We arrive at the park 10 minutes from home and I let him play a little. In the meantime I listen to music and start creating a playlist called “Happy” and as I find songs I like, I add it to them. Anything that is “Happy” is stuff I can sing to, want to sing to, can dance to, or gets my spirits up. It’s great walking or park music.

4:33 p.m. — I look down and decide that this summer I will not have brown tops of my feet and the rest of it white (as a result of wearing ballet flats), so I am making it a point to wear sunscreen on the backs of my hands and tops of my feet all summer.

4:35 p.m.— I see a mother make a grimace and dig into the sandpit, pulling out a crushed, dirty water bottle. She throws it outside of the pit near the fence (???) instead of in the garbage can and tells the kids playing in there: “C’est sale!” (It’s dirty). I think to myself that the sand is dirtier than that old water bottle. They’re just using it to move the sand around, but it’s the sand itself that is filthy. I’ve seen kids pee and vomit in it countless times and put goodness knows what in there. It’s pretty much like a kitty litter box for toddlers and babies. A sandy water bottle is the least of your concerns, lady.

4:43 p.m.— I look up & tell Baby Bun the sky is too grey and it’s getting chilly which means it’ll rain. He complies and comes home without a fuss.

5:01 p.m. — We get in the door and Baby Bun seems thrilled at the outing and talks about it the entire night, recounting things he saw in short word bursts and mostly saying: Train? Bus? Train Bus? More? More?

6:14 p.m. — A nice dinner.. and my partner looks exhausted. We spend the next two hours eating, chatting and cleaning (I do the dishes too).

8:02 p.m. — Bedtime, and Baby Bun and I fall asleep readily.

Saved: $0

Spent: $15.25


??:?? — Baby Bun wakes me at some ungodly hour asking to “sleep on Mommy”…

5:01 a.m.— GAHHHHHHH….. WHY IS THIS CHILD AWAKE? I thought I ran him hard yesterday but apparently not. I spend the next 2 hours making tea in a dazed state and trying to catch snoozes where I can.

7:07 a.m. — I hear my partner get up but stay in the bedroom alone (to organize his day on the iPad as his only “Daddy Time” during the week), as today is Cooking Day.

7:08 a.m. — I put away the dishes now that he is up and drink the rest of my tea in relative peace. I like ending with the matcha milk latte because it has sprouted chia seeds in there and is very comforting being 3/4 milk.

7:10 a.m. — Baby Bun asks for a banana. We peel it together and then spend the next 30 minutes screaming and crying at each other because the banana has a bit of itself sticking out (we are talking a tiny bit) and he doesn’t want to eat it even though I insist it is still part of the banana and it is fine. I threaten to eat it if he doesn’t want it and as I go to do it, he bursts into fresh tears and then finally eats it.

Why fight? Because I’m not setting a precedent where food has bits sticking out and he refuses to eat it. Not everything comes in perfect shapes in food and he has to learn to eat it as-is or not eat it. This picky nonsense is not getting cultivated or catered to in my home and if you give in once, it becomes a habit.

7:43 a.m. — I’m exhausted from the Banana Battle. I go to lie down and he plays with his stickers, removing and arranging them in neat rows.

7:55 a.m. — My partner comes out starts cooking, after scolding Baby Bun for not behaving. Sometimes I’m too tired to care enough to scold Baby Bun and he takes over. Teamwork!

7:51 a.m. — I review my tasks to do today and this week and note that I should do all the laundry today in huge batches after my partner cooks so that it is clean for the week. I try to limit laundry to once a week to not drive me insane (remember to take it out, dry it then put it away) but sometimes he pees through all of his underwear so I have no choice but to do it midway.

7:55 a.m. — Trying to muster energy to go rub motion on my super dehydrated skin. Will do it when Baby Bun starts getting bored with his sticker game. In the meanwhile, I half-write posts in my ToDo app so that I sync the notes later and just copy & paste it into WordPress to make a post. I don’t really need the Internet to write.

8:35 a.m. — I spend the next half hour rubbing in cream and then decide to do my tailoring and sew a button back on my coat that fell off. I still need to take my Burberry black cashmere coat in to fix the lining that ripped but I’ll wait until I have money coming in and just be careful.

9:25 a.m. — Baby Bun hassles me to read a new book he discovered in the pile my mother gave us, and I make him clean up his toys beforehand. I doze off while he cleans up…. takes that child at least 10 minutes so I get a power snooze in.

9:55 a.m. — Baby Bun squeals: “All done!!” and I check but point out he has missed quite a few pieces. After he is actually done, I lie down with him and start reading to Baby Bun trying out the new book on him to test whether he knows the words or has just memorized his old stories. He surprises me by reading 20% of the book Apple Pigs on his own.

10:23 a.m. — Bored, he now makes requests like: Spell basil?!?!? .. (We have a basil plant). And I tell him how to do it and he finds the letters until he spells it.

10:25 a.m. — I have no idea why he is obsessed with the word “Qatar” or “South Korea” as of late. Must be his flag obsession. We were out the other day and he started saying all the flags he saw on an advertisement and got most of them right – China, South Korea, Brazil, Israel, Canada, Saudi Arabia, etc.

10:45 a.m. — He invents a new game as I lie down on my side to doze off and I turn into a “Mommy Race Track Mountain”, and he runs his trains and school bus up and down my side making noises and watching them go over the “cliff”. I sneak in a good half hour of half-awake sleep to alleviate my sleep-deprivation headache.

11:08 a.m. — I go into the closet after getting up and pull out one of the secret cakes I bought yesterday for $2.50 and eat it as quietly as possible while he plays his elaborate Picnic game with his “babies”.

11:10 a.m. — I eat the cake like a chipmunk hiding in the closet and continue writing posts on the iPod.

11:13 p.m. — The device dies (ignored the Low Battery warning for too long!!) and I panic because I wrote at least 15 paragraphs and didn’t “save” it. I quickly plug it in to charge and am relieved the app has saved the draft even though I didn’t save it by hitting “Done”. Phew. I continue while it is plugged in and charging.

11:25 a.m. — The Baby Monster is hangry now from playing. We go and sit down for some vegetarian pasta freshly made, and olive bread from the day before. He eats, then plays with the fruit taking each one to Daddy and saying the name of each one for him.

12:30 p.m. — I order him to lie down for a nap and he complies, his belly full with minimal wiggling.

12:31 p.m. — FREEDOM!!! I eat the other secret cake with pleasure while watching Comme un Chef  / The Chef with Jean Reno (excellent actor). No subtitles and I brush up on my French for our trip back in 60 days, as it will be 100% immersion and zero English escape as no one will attempt to speak English with an English NATIVE. *sigh*

It is a very good movie but unrealistic obviously, as someone without any proper French culinary training can’t become a chef at a major restaurant, but… you know.. DETAILS. For an idea of how the French train, watch Kings of Pastry for a small idea of what it’s like.

12:40 p.m. — While watching, I sync my ToDo app with the blog notes I made, copy, paste & create the posts in the background.

2:00 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and rampages out like a baby rhinoceros, and gets a bottle of milk. After he is done, he comes back out and sits on my lap watching what I am doing on the laptop (emails, finishing up a blog post).

2:11 p.m. — I turn into Mommy Race Track Mountain again.

2:25 p.m. — He begs to go to the park and I show him it is raining and too cold to be outside. He nods and understands, “Too rainy, too cold, sky is grey..”, he says. “Mommy and Baby Bun no go park.” I correct his English and he repeats the corrected words. I was asked once how I educated Baby Bun and I guess it is all the time. I don’t let him make English mistakes and I explain everything like he is an adult even trying to explain contractions and punctuation. I figure the constant repetition will eventually sink in.

2:26 p.m. — Now he is asking to go on the bus and train again. I repeat that the rain means it is too chilly and cold.

2:27 p.m. — I hold him off from pestering me again by sharing an avocado with him.

3:01 p.m. — I vacuum again (these dark hardwood floors look great but are really high maintenance) and wipe down the dust from the corners with a damp rag.

3:44 p.m. — We do puzzles on the floor. He does them and I finish more blog posts on my iPod while helping him.

4:14 p.m. — I foist him off on his father to play and log on to try and finish the last bits of the movie.

4:30 p.m. — Well that didn’t last long. He really clings to me and wants to be wherever I am, 24/7. I don’t get a break unless I am physically gone.

5:08 p.m. — Dinner time! We finish the pasta from lunch.

6:14 p.m. — I do all the dishes from the day including the 50 bajillion pans & pots my partner has dirtied and the thousand dishes and plates. I put on my wireless Bose headphones and watch videos while I wash everything. It has made this chore quite bearable if I can listen to music or watch a video while doing it.

6:35 p.m. — We hang out and read, play “Picnic” again and waste time until bedtime. I’m exhausted so I’m already snoozing by the time he comes to bed whipping and waving his shirt like a flag.

8:03 p.m. — Bedtime. Definitely bedtime.

Saved: $0

Pre-Spent: $5

(Ate the two cakes I bought yesterday hiding in my closet)


??:?? — “READ!!!”, sobs Baby Bun in the middle of the night..

??:?? — “MOMMY SING!!”, cries Baby Bun at an ungodly hour…

6:21 a.m. — I’m up and already drinking tea I made because Baby Bun woke up 10 minutes ago. I don’t know what is going on but we are being woken up multiple times each night. At least I got in some deep REM sleep this time so I feel fine.

6:23 a.m. — The skies look ominously grey but I decide that after his nap, I will take him out anyway, rain or shine to go on the metro to get him out of the house & away from his grumpy father (fixing the apartment puts him in a very bad mood with a super short temper).

7:37 a.m. — I spent the past hour trying to get Baby Bun to read Apple Pigs as much as he could on his own and we only made it halfway through the book. O_o We do a lot of shared reading where I read bigger words for him but the ones that he knows, I wait until he says them instead of reading it for him, which means it takes us forever and a day.

7:39 a.m. — Baby Bun gets bored of trying to read and we move on to spelling with letters. He spells his name. I wonder if I should brave the grey skies and take him for a walk.

7:41 a.m. — As he is spelling with letters I’m half writing blog posts and helping him. I decide I ought to post an update on my Paula’s Choice skin regimen because I’ve changed it now that my skin is truly clear.

8:02 a.m. — I decide to do some more mending, I have a maxi dress I thrifted for $10 but the straps keep moving, the hem is too long, and it is too lowcut to wear out (I bend over a lot with a toddler) so I decide to bring up the straps which solves all my problems at once. I sew the straps down, and pull them up, sewing the twist into place which also magically hems them as well.

9:01 a.m. — Done! I look outside and the skies are still really dark but the sun is peeking out a bit. I tell Baby Bun if he puts away his toys we will go to the park. He half-listens and while I wait for him to get on board and stop de-fuzzing my pants and socks (his new game called “Fuzzies”), I’ll repeat my instructions.

9:03 a.m. — He spies the garbage truck outside and abandons “Fuzzies” to watch as they clean up. Maybe he’ll be a garbage trucker some day.

9:20 a.m. — Still waiting for him to clean up. He is lying down singing the Alphabet song over and over again. I remove a 3/4 length cashmere sweater from my wardrobe. It is in perfect shape but it has gotten too small for me from a few washings and post Baby Bun. I set it aside for him to wear as a sweater.

10 a.m. — Waiting.

10:41 a.m.Still waiting.

11:16 a.m. — Gave up. Made him eat lunch and then said if he cleaned up, and napped, then we would go out on the bus.

11:30 a.m. — Goes down for his nap when I’m still in the room. I turn my laptop and watch Blackish as he falls asleep. Did I mention we have been confined to one room the whole day? Luckily it has an en suite bathroom.

1:30 p.m. — Baby Bun stirs and wakes up. We get ready and go out to the metro. $2.25

2:00 p.m. — We are downtown and walking around. I make him take the stairs and we stare at the trains going by back and forth.

3:00 p.m. — I treat us to two Vietnamese sandwiches and a piece of cake. After leaving a tip, it came out to $11.50

3:45 p.m. — We decide to take the bus back home which means since we are still within the 2 hour limit and haven’t taken this particular bus yet, the trip is a transfer. $0 (!!)

4:16 p.m. — At the park and it is bone chillingly cold even wrapped in cashmere. The sky still looks ominously grey but hasn’t rained all day. I decide not to chance it and stay too long. I let Baby Bun run free.

4:45 p.m. — We get home and my partner has turned the entire apartment into a white, sandy, dust bowl. I’m foreseeing two days of hand scrubbing each tile & wood plank to get the dust out. *sigh*

5:36 p.m. — He is finally done and I start cleaning the apartment to help out. I still need to hand wipe the entire floor tomorrow but at least it is semi-clean. Baby Bun is confined to the bedroom with a bottle of milk as a bribe and to play his Picnic game with an iPad for backup while we clean.

6:23 p.m. — My partner goes to shower and I vacuum again.

6:35 p.m. — Out of the shower he goes to the grocery store for some bread, smoked fish and a bottle of wine.

6:45 p.m. — I mentally plan out the cooking and cleaning for tomorrow.

7:00 a.m. — My partner comes back and we have a meal of smoked mackerel on bread. He downs the wine.

7:35 p.m. — My partner starts putting everything (furniture) back to where it was and gets the Internet hooked up again. He still has 40% of it to put back tomorrow night but at least the Internet is back.

7:45 p.m. — I do a shared reading of Panda Bear, Goodnight Moon, and Do you see a mouse with Baby Bun and then firmly tell him it is NOW bedtime.

8:15 p.m. — I get Baby Bun ready for bed to give my partner a break. He is sore all over from a continuous 11 hours of sanding and work. I hope he sleeps soundly and doesn’t wake me up.

Saved: $0

Spent: $13.75


5:16 a.m. — I’m up and exhausted. Baby Bun slept fairly soundly with no screaming that I can remember (may have been out like a log if he did) but woke me up at 5 and I am so tired.

5:18 a.m. — I try to let my partner “sleep in” until he has to go to work while exhausted. I need to make those vegan burgers today and hand wipe the apartment again. That’s my goal today. I start whisking the tea.

6:35 a.m. — I finish drinking my teas and start prepping the vegetables. I don’t want to go to playgroup today. Have too much to do. I won’t even be in the rest of the week because I have my first doctor’s appointment to do the blood test & brain scan.

6:42 a.m. — My partner leaves for work.

7:02 a.m. — Everything is in the oven and the dishes are all done.

7:28 a.m. — Dishes are all done.

8:44 a.m. — I check my emails and get this from Smug Mother because I and other parents 2 weeks ago mentioned how much we love Nutella (throwback from my youth, I can’t change it. I get irrationally annoyed with her urge to have send me this link.

I don’t keep Nutella in the apartment or buy it because when I do, it goes like candy. Literally candy. So what do you say to these people? Look, I used to eat candy bars for breakfast, and could eat this stuff out of the jar as-is, and considering what I eat these days, it is a huge change to go from that, to being flexitarian and mostly vegetarian/vegan when I can. I eat healthy most of the time and I don’t eat this stuff as a daily meal, so why don’t they just STFU? WTF does she think is in her daily baked cake and cookies? Vegetables? Antioxidants? Sure she puts half the sugar and butter in there but eats that stuff daily, and in contrast, I put FULL butter and FULL sugar when I bake and eat it rarely. Which one do you think is better? Eating 1 pound of butter every 3 months or so (for special events) or half a pound weekly? Grrr..

7:29 a.m. — With a bucket of hot soapy water, I start hand wiping each plank and groove in the kitchen with a damp, old cloth diaper and wiping it dry with another clean one. I put on my wireless headphones and listen to music to stave off boredom. I take a short break and read Revanche’s post on having to support her 70-year old father with so many other money issues. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do in that position either. I couldn’t turn my back on my parent(s )if push came to shove.

8:15 a.m. — Patties come out of the oven. I continue hand wiping. I am still annoyed. I really hope I am not a smug mother. I make a reminder to check my speech occasionally for being a righteous smug mother. And anyone who ever thought Nutella was ever remotely healthy has never read the ingredients (WHICH I ACTUALLY DO ALL THE TIME, SMUG MOTHER.) This makes me want to buy a jar and eat it in front of her during playgroup, sharing with other parents, spread liberally on crepes and anything we can find to eat it on, smearing it all over our faces in defiance. /end rant

10:45 a.m. — Baby Bun growls for food. I take a break and feed him and chow down a patty with some brown rice and avocado.

11:26 a.m. — I re-wash the dishes and continue hand wiping. I hand a damp cloth to Baby Bun and he starts wiping too. He isn’t really helping but it is good to start the habit and encourage him to clean with me.

11:35 a.m. — Done! Finally. I’m covered in sweat. Handwiping is a workout, y’all.

Noon p.m. — I order Baby Bun to bed. He goes and I make sure he is tucked in and kissed before I close the door. BREAK TIME!!!!! OH YES. Time to do absolutely frakkin’ NOTHING ON THE INTERNET….

12:10 p.m. — Bored. I start scheduling some posts.

2:00 p.m. — I hear Baby Bun squeal and I go with a bottle of milk. He plays on his own in the room for a bit. I remember to reschedule my ENT appointment to a day where my partner can stay home with Baby Bun.

2:34 p.m. — Baby Bun comes out and I set up his new “kitchen” which is an overturned basket with some pots and pans on top and tell him to “cook” with his fruits & vegetables. Must come up with an elaborate 1-hour game for this.

2:35 p.m. — I am on the floor, half dozing beside him. Baby Bun thinks it is part of the Cooking game and tries to body slam me on the floor, then sits on my chest like a couch. I shoo his fat toddler butt off my chest (damn he is heavy) and back to his kitchen.

3:44 p.m. — I peel myself off the floor at last and decide to take a shower.

4:05 p.m. — Baby Bun is in the bathroom with me looking at himself in a hand mirror while I shower under hot water which is terrible for my skin and eczema, not to mention wallet but feels sooooo good.

4:20 p.m. — Refreshed, I curse that I didn’t buy a piece of secret cake. I decide to go online instead and let my body take a break.

6:25 p.m. — My partner comes upstairs with a cashmere hat — “Hey isn’t this Baby Bun’s hat? I found it downstairs.” I gawp. I must have dropped it, and it isn’t any old hat it is my own cashmere cap I gave him that cost me $300. It fits his head and keeps him warm so I’m lending it to him until he is too cool to wear Mommy’s cashmere cap and I get it back. I’ve been wrapping a cashmere pashmina around my head in the meantime. I cannot believe I almost lost it!!! I’m an idiot. I have to be more careful.

7:01 p.m. — Everyone but Baby Bun is exhausted so we just lie on the bed and talk, read, etc. He wants Panda Bear and Goodnight Moon again.

8:03 p.m. — I get Baby Bun ready for bed again because my partner is full of aches and in pain today from his back.

Saved: $0

Spent: $0

Almost lost: $300 cashmere cap



5:10 am. — I am never going to sleep properly again until Baby Bun is out of the home, am I?

5:16 a.m. — My hair looks so good! For some reason the top ponytail it was in the night before loosened and it turned into a gorgeous up do complete with a tendril coming down the forehead just so. I take selfies for future reference.

6:45 a.m. — I grab Baby Bun and snuggle him. He turns his head into my chest and sings: “I luff youuu..!!”… I wonder if he knows what it means but nevertheless my heart swells. I really do love this crumb cruncher. I would just love him more if he slept until 7 a.m. solidly.

7:03 a.m. — I decide to take Baby Bun out to the mall today and get a Starbucks. I have to drink this chai tea latte before noon because if I don’t, it affects my sleep at night. They’re the only place that’s really open so early in the morning. Everything else gets going at 10 a.m., sometimes 11 a.m.

7:15 a.m. — I rethink that drink. I don’t need to waste $5 today. Maybe tomorrow. I need to stretch out this treat until I actually need it.

7:35 a.m. — I decide to take Baby Bun out to the park nice and early because I plan on baking today. I go to take out the butter to soften and I realize that my partner picked up SALTED butter so I make a trip to the store to buy unsalted stuff (it just doesn’t taste the same with salted butter). My partner does a *facepalm* at his mistake.

8:01 a.m. — In the store, I find the unsalted organic butter, and pick up a fresh baguette (what? I couldn’t resist) $6.58

8:11 a.m. —  Back in the car, I drive back and stop by the park to let Baby Bun run around. I make up a complicated game that makes him run around the park, push all the swings, go through all the obstacle courses and then slide. Wash, rinse, repeat.

8:55 a.m. — I hustle Baby Bun back in, and leave the butter out to soften and begin prepping.

9:11 a.m. — I deem the bananas ripe enough for the Banana Cake today. Before I bake, I dust the entire apartment while waiting, wiping all the dust bunnies off.

10:32 a.m. — I get Baby Bun to help me peel the overripe bananas until I realize they are far too mushy and delicate for his chubby hands, not to mention uncoordinated motor skills. I decide to let him mash the bananas instead and cream the butter & sugar together. I toss in as an addition (my partner’s idea), a little dram of Grand Marnier to add flavour (the alcohol will cook off so it’ll be all right for all of us to eat).

I will not confirm or deny if I taste tested this a few times beforehand 😉

11:02 a.m. — Everything is prepped, in the oven baking and will be done by the time he goes down for his nap. This is good because otherwise he’ll come around nagging me for the cake …”CAKE? CAKE? CAKE?“.. I’ll have time to let it cool and then hide it until it’s dinner time.

11:12 a.m. — We break and eat for lunch. I put the vegan burger patty into the bun with avocado and eat it like a sandwich. Could do with some veganaise, and something crunchy like arugula and shaved raw onions. I wonder how hard it is to make veganaise.

11:53 a.m. — I change Baby Bun out of his night diaper (finally). I make Baby Bun wear his disposable diaper from the night before and still treat it like underwear, telling him to keep it dry (which he does, he gets up even in the middle of the night saying he needs to go).

It isn’t until nap time that I take it off. Keep in mind, it is still quite dry, but he does have a tendency to pee a little beforehand which has caused me to do a daily load of laundry to keep a fresh pile of underwear stocked. I started doing this when I was noticing I was throwing away DRY CLEAN diapers in the morning and felt weird about reusing them for the next night. I am also working through the overstock we have of diapers as well. Less laundry, I don’t feel as guilty for tossing that disposable diaper, and we are going through our stock. So.. win win & win.

12:00 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for nap. He looks up hopefully “Patch Bum Mommy?“… and I tell him he’s big now and doesn’t need it. He settles back down as I leave the room. Kids. They just be tryin’.

12:42 p.m.  5 Werther wrappers in, I am almost done season 3 of one of the funniest shows ever, and I have a few Instagram posts set up (copy and paste and you’re good to go). I only started it because of Tracee Ellis Ross whom I LOVED on Girlfriends. She is such a great actress and this show is SO GOOD.

2:08 p.m. — I wash the pan that was soaking from the vegan burgers. I way overcook them so the pieces dry up and out. When they are reheated, they soften slightly, and this combination creates a texture is surprisingly meaty and satisfying, like eating minced pork.

2:45 p.m. — Baby Bun and I head to the park again. I don’t even bother to make him clean up anything because it’ll just get messy again when we’re back. #Priorities. Amirite? I run him HARD.

4:45 p.m. — We get home and we play play play until Daddy comes home.

6:15 p.m. — DADDY!

7:11 p.m. — My partner spends the night re-arranging the entire apartment. He makes a little light mess of the floors again by dusting the walls with a microfiber duster. I internally sigh because I’ll have to wipe down the floors again this week.

7:35 p.m. — He stops for the night, and we each eat a slice of some of my freshly baked Banana Cake together, which is a hit with that nice taste of Grand Marnier.

7:52 p.m. — Baby Bun and I lie down and I read through Kinfolk Home, an interesting book of designers who showcase their simple living homes. I connect with some of the images there, particularly the one with the sliding glass AND sliding wood slats for her outside patio. Dreamy.

8:03 p.m. — I get Baby Bun ready for bed again. We read through books again.

Saved: $5

Spent: $6.58


6:10 a.m. — Baby Bun “slept in” so I wake up readily. I make my usual two cups of tea, with the other being a nice black tea today, mixed in with a lot of milk. I can’t drink tea without milk. No sugar, fine, but it has to have milk.

10:13 a.m. — I continue watching States of Undress, an excellent mini series about fashion around the world while Baby Bun plays on the floor and starts putting away the laundry for me. I watch the Pakistan episode and am horrified by the acid burns on women for “disobedience”, a bad dowry, and the overall degrading, low-class status of women there.

10:15 a.m. — I suspect if you’re a rich woman or girl, you are proud to embrace your culture and heritage and love being Pakistani, but if you are middle-class, closer to poor, you probably wish you had been born a boy instead.

10:30 a.m. — I feel rather sick at the end of the whole episode on Pakistan and feeling rather grateful to be Canadian.

11:01 a.m. — States of Undress‘s time for Congo. Loved that I could understand most of it (it was in French), and the energy of the Sapeurs, and the fact that a big, full-bodied woman is the ideal because no girl wants to be the skinny one in the group there. Also want my own clothes to be made from scratch now.

11:45 a.m. — Baby Bun is finally done putting the napkins all in a row on top of each other and wants to go to the park. It’s too close to his nap so I tell him we’ll go after he sleeps. He nods and plays on the floor with some letters. He is being unusually good today…. something is up. Hmm…

12:09 p.m. — Baby Bun goes down for his nap, all tucked in. Who knows WHEN he’ll fall asleep but at least he’s in there and quiet. I wipe down the dishes while watching States of Undress.

12:15 p.m. — I sneak in and check on my now sleeping toddler. When do they become “little boys” and not toddlers? At the age of 5?

12:32 p.m. —  In Venezuela, lots and lots of (scary) plastic surgery for beauty pageants, and I am shocked that you can’t buy government-regulated basic products like tampons in stores.

12:35 p.m. — The “ideal” body type is rather grotesque watching it with model Aleira Avendao with a super tiny 20″ waist and a DDD cup size and DDD sized bottom. It doesn’t seem normal, plus it looks like it is squishing and ruining her organs instead. She is gonna payyyyyyy when she is older. She has had three surgeries on her chest, two nose jobs, etc etc. Is this sexy?

I thought we did away with corsets a long time ago.

12:12 p.m. — Feeling rather sad for the eradication of natural beauty as something to fix with plastic surgery in Venezuela.

1:07 p.m. — My States of Undress‘s thoughts about Russia …it makes me feel like Putin is building a second Nazi-like state, with the youth of Russia reminiscent of Hitler’s Youth; it is eerily scary to hear that a woman’s place is in her family and “to hide behind her man”; also not loving all the fur.

1:27 p.m.Russia again. They have an overabundance of women and scarcity of men, the opposite of India or China. Maybe the populations there could mix, if interracial dating is allowed.

1:28 p.m. — It’s hard for women in Russia to compete if you are too successful, not happy all the time and squashing your stupid problems and not whining about them and having to be perfect all the time. Gat damn I’d be single there!!! I’d be un-marriageable if the man has to be MORE important in the relationship.

1:47 p.m. — Now watching Palestine. Baby Bun will be up soon. I start watching and loving the Speed Sisters, an all-female racing team in the Middle East after being quite sad about this invisible line in the West Bank that people can’t cross because of cultures because you’ll get beat up.

2:09 p.m. — Baby Bun wakes up and comes running out in a good mood. I break to him gently the bad news — it’s raining and we have to stay inside 🙁 We can’t go to the park today like I had promised. Baby Bun is a little upset but takes it gamely.

2:15 p.m. — He begs for my iPod to watch videos of himself. I hand it over and finish watching the episode on Palestine. I think it may be my favourite one yet. I love the Speed Sisters and how strongly these women like the lingerie designers feel in their hearts they are Palestinian and choose to live there instead of living in the U.S. (they have dual citizenship).

2:40 p.m. — I feed him the rest of the banana. It’s a little oxidized so he refuses to eat it until I snap off chunks and just give it to him to eat.

2:55 p.m. — I start on the last episode China. I see Hailey on a massage table get lit up like a Christmas tree and am super excited for this. I have at least been to this country (Beijing and Shanghai), so I sort of re-live my vacation.

3:01 p.m. — Baby Bun is bored. I encourage Baby Bun to clean up because even though it doesn’t last for long, hopefully this will get him used to doing it without giving me sass as he gets older. It also gives me a break, making him clean and be occupied with a chore. Also, a good way to kill childhood boredom, is to give them WORK to do.

3:15 p.m. — I watch the designer Guo Pei’s work unfold on the screen and it is stunning. What embroidery and skill. If they could export and sell that here, it may change how people see the “Made in China” label. She’s the one that did Rihanna’s Met Ball dress (here’s the story behind it):

Hailey tries it on (lucky duck) but it looks HEAVY.

By the way, the dress would have perhaps cost up to $400,000 HKD or around $50,000 USD (Source).

3:21 p.m. — I LOVE the China episode. It is kind of cool they have a Western cultural class… I almost feel like it would be such a great thing to take here if we could have etiquette/dining/cultural classes for each culture and to get to do a different one weekly.

3:24 p.m. — In the background I google “Guo Pei” creations and fall in love with this one. I’d wear it to lounge on the floor at home.. or put it on display. Whichever.

3:27 p.m. — China in Guangdong produces 1/3 of the world’s apparel. ONE THIRD. It also has lots of parents who have children who live “back home” in other provinces and they only see them twice a year, with the grandparents watching them. My heart breaks. It just isn’t normal to separate children from their parents like that…. I feel a real pang of pain in my heart, thinking of Baby Bun and if I had to do the same to provide for him.

4:45 p.m. — My partner comes home early which is nice because it is chilly and cold outside and now I have adult conversation. I’m sad I didn’t get to take Baby Bun to the park today though…

5:01 p.m. — I am on the bed, off the internet screens for the rest of the night, and reading on an e-reader which is a screen but a static one. I am vowing to read through my entire cache, and deleting each finished or rejected book on my e-reader, before loading more books onto it. My trick is just to keep reading whatever book comes up next, and if I can’t read it, I delete it and move on to the next one.

6:31 p.m. — We have a nice dinner and eat slices of Banana cake.

7:03 p.m. — I sneak into the bathroom and lock the door to have a nice long shower. ALONE.

8:07 p.m. — I let my partner get Baby Bun ready for bed again, giving him back that Baby Bun duty from now on.

Saved: $0

Spent: $0


6:26 a.m. — Baby Bun “slept in”.. oh happy day. I feel refreshed and thank goodness too, I have my appointment today.

7:02 a.m. — I read that there are microfiber hair towels that dry your hair in no time. Whaaa!? O_o I need more info.

8:30 a.m. — I go to my doctor’s appointment. I have a fear of being late so I always show up super early. I decide to take the bus (I hate having to search for parking) there instead. $2.25

8:55 a.m. — I am way too early. I go to the office and stare at the people there.I wipe down my boots with these Boot Wipes again.

9:01 a.m. — Huh. There are a surprising number of young, and I mean YOUNG and evidently poor couples who are pregnant (some didn’t even have winter coats). On the one hand, at least the boys (fathers-to-be) who don’t even look old enough to shave are there for their girlfriends, but on the other hand, it is shocking and quite sad to hear their conversations, when they don’t even know what is going to come at them with a newborn. I spend the next half hour in reflection about this. They’re young, they don’t have “careers”, have no savings, and this was probably not planned at all.

9:15 a.m. — I hear the young boy (he is definitely no older than 18) say to his girlfriend: “If we have another baby together, I want to be sure that they’ll be taken care of. He [some deadbeat relative father] doesn’t even take care of his own little girl! How can I trust him with my kids?” Wow. He has such adult problems for such a young boy…. He is mature I suppose but.. dang.

9:31 a.m. — I drift off these kids and mentally work out that it costs me about $3.75 in gas costs to get to Baby Bun’s playgroup and back. Each time I don’t go, I save at least $3.75 in gas, closer to $4 these days, plus the actual cost of playgroup each time. The last time I filled the car it was $58 for a full tank, and that was at the end of March and I am only halfway through the tank by limiting my use of the car and walking or taking the metro instead. Hmm.

10:35 a.m. — I finally head in to the office and ask for a whole list of things I noted in my ToDo app, from blood work to a brain scan to a referral to an ENT for the appointment I already booked in a month. Apparently a doctor’s referral “really helps” as well. I get it all and get out but realize I forgot to ask if I needed a prescription for scopolamine for my upcoming trip. I decide to do this on my next visit back to see her next month after my ENT.

10:47 a.m. — I check the schedule and realize I am about to miss the bus back, so I wander around and head into a thrift store to look for that Opposite game again. I find Scrabble instead and mentally slap myself. OF COURSE! I can just buy thrifted SCRABBLE games and use the letters there for Baby Bun to spell words. Duh.

10:55 a.m.— I decide on a thrifted Scrabble game for $2 and a board book called Big Red Barn for $1 because I couldn’t resist the animals and the rhyming. Baby Bun would love this book with all the animals and sounds. I vowed NOT to spend on toys and books but I decide to bend it a little for him. $3

11:15 a.m. — I go back to wait for the bus. The driver comes by but says she’s going to go around again .. (??) .. so I decide to wait when she makes her loop back around.

11:20 a.m. — I go to fill a prescription for my ear drops. $17.32

11:25 a.m. — I get it filled instantly (wow) and resist, STRONGLY RESIST the temptation to go get a sandwich and a piece of cake from a local Vietnamese shop around the corner. No. Stay strong. Do it tomorrow.

11:45 a.m. — I regret waiting and my stomach growls for that sandwich. It would have been faster to take the metro to go to another station and take a different bus than it was to wait for this one. She finally shows up. $2.25

12:01 p.m. — I get home. Baby Bun is already down for his nap (he put himself down for a nap half an hour ago), and literally dive for my vegan burger, it is SO delicious. I’m almost faint from hunger, I should have taken a snack along but I didn’t know I’d be so dang long. I love this recipe, I can honestly say that I look forward to eating it on the daily.

12:36 p.m. — I wonder if I should take advantage and go out today and leave him with his father after he comes home. I kind of don’t want to. I’m feeling dizzy and tired.

12:37 p.m. — I watch episodes of Sex & the City while I finish up some blog posts but then just give up and watch episodes. My head hurts.

1:33 p.m. — Baby Bun thunders out happily and I settle him down for his lunch and give him a bottle of milk afterwards.

2:15 p.m. — We wash our hands and I decide to shower to feel better.

2:33 p.m. — I get out and lie down with Baby Bun and read through our new book Big Red Barn together, then all the other books he wants to read. Each one takes us at least half an hour because I don’t let him off easy and I make him read the words he knows so his learning is reinforced

3:22 p.m. — I wake up from having dozed off while reading to Baby Bun (and him reading to me, really)… and him getting bored, and deciding to play with things. I only wake up because my toddler is petting my face while wearing socks on his hands like “mittens in Goodnight Moon, Mommy!

3:45 p.m. — I rouse myself, take 2 Advil for my splitting headache and start on the dishes and pans from a day and a half of not washing them. It is a HUGE PILE.

5:30 p.m. — I finish all the dishes and pans from a day and a half of cooking and eating (dang it took a while), and settle in to try and get those blog posts done. I google the medication I bought today to check for any side effects, and take down the numbers to call the labs next week.

6:15 p.m. — DADDY! And he brought food. My headache is still here… I think the drop in the weather pressure outside is not helping. I have to make some lab test appointments next week.

7:11 p.m. — We finish dinner and I do the dishes to have a clear sink for tomorrow.

8:15 p.m. — I am already in bed and dozing off when Baby Bun comes in. He begs for a book and I tell him no because I am way too tired to read one right now. Tomorrow.

Saved: $0

Spent: $24.82


Near to the end of the week my headaches and dizziness started coming back again after they seemed to have tapered off. I’m going to have to figure out how to get these appointments done with a toddler because I can’t eat before any of them. Gah.


I didn’t get a break all week and I did find myself snapping a little more at Baby Bun than usual. I mean, I think he is finally growing into his Threes and being less of a monster than when he was in his Twos, but I still get exhausted yelling at him (not documented) almost every hour.

You try, as a parent, not to yell at them every hour but it is REALLY HARD WHEN THEY WON’T LISTEN TO YOU when you use your Nice Voice.

I only really panic if he is doing something like trying to touch the hot oven/stove and THAT tone of voice, I only reserve for Emergencies.

At the very least, the apartment is “fixed” and now he just needs to paint over this stuff and we’re good to go.


  • Sarah Li Cain

    I get you with the mommy time. Days he’s not work me I’m working, though nap times are a godsend.

    Also, obsessed with States of Undress! Just saw the Congo episode and will binge watch more 🙂

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life

    “wearing socks on his hands” – Are they ALL doing this?? I think I shared a pic of JuggerBaby doing that and trying to open a safe like some kind of hick safecracker!

    Rolling my eyes at the smug mother. You want to be smug, fine, be smug but keep your damn links to yourself. Humph.

    What was all the sanding for, though?

    • Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      They LOVE wearing “mittens”. It was my fault, I pointed out his mittens were his socks and now he wears them constantly, 3 pairs at a time.

      Yeah I know right? *stuffs face with Nutella*

      The sanding is for the imperfections which he has now fixed (cracks, etc).

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